A Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), Sustainable Mechanism for Improving Livelihood and House (SIMLE), has donated 2,583 dual desks to 41 primary schools in Benue.
Dr Emeka Anoje, the Chief of Party, SIMLE Project, made this disclosure on Thursday in Makurdi while handing over the educational materials to the Benue Government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SIMLE in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), implemented the projects funded by USAID, which would last for five years.
Anoje said that the NGO was implementing projects in 17 LGAs of the state with 18 Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) and a target of 270,000 children and caregivers.
According to him, the 270,000 children account for more than 40 per cent of the entire project beneficiaries of the NGO.
He said that the aim of helping the children to overcome their educational challenges was what made SIMLE to get approval from USAID to implement an Education Block Grant Scheme in 41 schools across LGAs.
Anoje said that the NGO also renovated six blocks of classrooms, equipped one school library and provided 2,583 dual desks to schools in the state.
“The strategies are to increase access to education and to significantly reduce financial barriers to education by vulnerable households.
“The finding of the assessment team revealed some gaps in infrastructure, which hinder learning in the classrooms, due to the poor state of furniture, specifically chairs and desks.
“The assessment also revealed that majority of the pupils cannot afford the payment of school levies that are being demanded by school authorities due to poor economic status of their parents and caregivers”.
NAN investigations for instance, also revealed that pupils at the Holy Family Primary School, Kansio, had been sitting on bare floor during class hours in the last seven years.
At R.C.M Primary school, Tyodugh, Mbayongo, Makurdi, SIMLE also inaugurated a block of classroom and donated 200 desks to LGA Primary School Tse Swem, Christian Academy Tse-Orkar and LGEA Primary School, Orowa respectively.
Dr Philip Tachin, the Executive Secretary, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), said at the event that the state primary schools were facing serious challenges in the area of furniture.
Tachin said that the situation had forced many rural children to stay away from schools, adding that the government was doing everything possible to support primary education.
“Many of our schools don’t have seats and tables for our pupils, not only in the rural areas but in the towns too.
“As a result of this development, most children in rural areas stay away from school but we are doing everything possible to address the situation.
“The contribution of SIMLE and Catholic Relief Services are everywhere for everyone to see; as a state, we are grateful for their support and we will continue to collaborate with them”. (NAN)